One of the biggest frustrations with our project for the last several months has been the basement plumbing. First, it took us forever to get quotes from more than one plumber. Then we selected a plumber (not coincidentally one that gave us quotes fairly quickly) and gave them the initial deposit. The original estimate for work was about six weeks, which was over two months ago. Most of the work hasn’t been done yet and the source of delays has largely been the City of Chicago. We pulled our original permits three years ago with a different plumber. Because the permits were already pulled, the existing permit had to be reactivated and the plumber changed. Once that was done, they were able to put in the underground plumbing for the basement bathroom, the floor drain, and the utility sink, including the ejector pit. That was when they told me they were waiting on me to finish the weeping system, which I did.

Sewer work

New basement plumbing

At the same time, they scoped the sewer with a camera and submitted the recording to the City, who came back with a concern about the “tap”, or the connection between our sewer and the sewer main under the street. The plumbers ran another scope, after which the water department decided they wanted the tap repaired. Around this time they said that our other permit for the new water service was approved, but then they turned around and said that the whole project had a “red flag” on it because the original permits weren’t pulled properly. We didn’t get an explanation of what was wrong or how that happened, but the result was that no work could be done at all.

The plumbers reported that they were able to negotiate with the city and get the red flag lifted, and the last update is that we should finally have our permits today. Then the plumbers can finally schedule the tap repair, the new water service, and the sewer re-lining. At this point I’ve gotten a bit skeptical, but this is the most positive sign so far that something is actually going to happen before the ground freezes. The plumbing is the only thing we’re waiting on to pour the new basement floor.

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